PETALING JAYA: The world men’s singles champion Xia Xuanze will spearhead China’s team to the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) from April 20-25 at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium.
Xuanze will be making a last ditch attempt to impress his coaches in order to be considered for the Athens Olympics.
The ABC is the last tournament offering Olympic qualifying points.
The International Badminton Federation (IBF) will finalise the qualifiers for the Olympics after the April 30 deadline.
Although he is ranked sixth in the world, Xuanze is not assured of a place in the Olympic Games.
There are three other Chinese ranked higher than Xuanze –world number one Lin Dan, Chen Hong (No 2) and Bao Chunlai (No 5). All three will be skipping the ABC meet.
A country is allowed to have a maximum of three entries and Xuanze will be hoping he can be among the three Chinese to make the trip to Athens.
Besides Xuanze, the other men’s singles players who will be making the trip to Malaysia are world number 10 Chen Yu, Chen Jin, Zhu Weilun and Hu Yun.
As in the men’s singles, they have also decided to send a mix of seniors and juniors for all the other events.
The men’s doubles will be led by world number six Sang Yang-Zheng Bo. The duo will be joined by Chen Qiqiu-Cheng Rui, Xie Zhongbo-Guo Zhendong, Sun Junjie-Xu Chen.
Despite the absence of some top women’s singles players, China are still expected to emerge as the champions in the women’s singles and doubles events.
Yesterday, Taiwan also confirmed their entries for the four-star tournament.
Men’s singles: Xia Xuanze, Chen Yu, Chen Jin, Zhu Weilun, Hu Yun.
Men’s doubles: Sang Yang-Zheng Bo, Chen Qiqiu-Cheng Rui, Xie Zhongbo-Guo Zhengdong, Sun Junjie-Xu Chen.
Women’s singles: Jing Yanjiao, Chen Li, Chen Lanting, Zhu Lin, Li Wenyan.
Women’s doubles: Wei Yili-Zhao Tingting, Du Jing-Yu Yang.
Mixed doubles: Chen Qiqiu-Zhao Jiewen, Wang Wei, Zhang Jiewen, Xie Zhongbo-Yu Yang.
Men’s singles: Chien Yu-hsiu, Hiseh Yu-hsing.
Men’s doubles: Lin Wei Hsiang-Lee Sung-yuan, Tsai Chia hsin-Tseng Chung-lin, Huang Shih Chung-Chien Yu- hsun.
Women’s singles: Cheng Shao-chieh.
Women’s doubles: Chien Yu-chin-Cheng Wen-hsing.
Mixed doubles: Tsai Chia-hsin-Cheng Wen Shing, Hsieh Yu-hsing-Chien Yu-chin.